The pause button may have been hit on the 2020 Triathlon season back in March but this Sunday, with new health and safety protocols in place before, during, and after the event, World Cup racing returns, and it is on one of the great courses of the regular calendar that the biggest names in the sport including Flora Duffy will compete.
The spa town of Karlovy Vary in the Bohemia region of Czech Republic represents a tough standard-distance challenge.
A technical 1.5km Swim in Rolava Lake then a two-part bike, from there into the town center and 7 x 6.5km testing laps over cobbles, tarmac, hills, and fast turns, before culminating in a 4-lap run to round off the action.
Adding to the pre-race intrigue is the fact that, out of a glittering selection of top 10 women starters, only Vendula Frintova and Japan’s Ai Ueda have previous experience of this Karlovy course.
Imperious over 5km a week ago in Hamburg, the new World Champion Georgia Taylor-Brown will be ready for the next chance to show she has what it takes to maintain her place on top of the world.
Arriving by road with teammate Jessica Learmonth from Germany, the British duo will have had plenty of time to check out the terrain and prepare for their next assault on an international podium.
Second in Hamburg and ready to conquer the challenging bike segment, Duffy has looked in excellent form since returning to racing from injury at last year’s Tokyo Test Event. She may have been unable to close the gap after Taylor-Brown pulled away on a flat 5km in Germany, but the Karlovy course is a very different proposition.
The demanding standard-distance set up could be just the sort of stage for Katie Zaferes to shine on after the 2019 World Champion missed out on a podium in Germany with transition troubles leaving her unable to catch the front-runners out of T2.
A bronze medalist in Hamburg, Laura Lindemann may not have the experience of some of the names in the top 10, but certainly has the results to prove she can once again be among the challengers.
Netherlands’ Rachel Klamer and Brazil swim-specialist Vittoria Lopes complete a talent-filled top 10, while further down the start list there is no shortage of podium potential.
Spain’s Miriam Casillas Garcia, Belgian Valerie Barthelemy, and Lisa Tertsch of Germany all have recent World Cup medals to their name, Natalie van Coevorden, Yuliya Yelistratova and Lotte Miller all make the journey from Germany to the Czech Republic.